SoleMate Spotlight: Grace Nickel

Today we are shining a spotlight on Grace Nickel! Grace will be running her 5th half marathon, the 2017 NYC Half Marathon, as a Girls on the Run NYC SoleMate.

Why did you decide to become a SoleMate in support of Girls on the Run NYC?
Girls on the Run NYC is an incredible organization that fosters such a valuable sense of community both among its participants and supporters. Upon arriving in NYC as a student at Barnard College, I realized that I took the close-knit community of my rural hometown for granted. My involvement with Girls on the Run has made me feel part of a similar community, however difficult that may be to achieve in a city as large as New York. Becoming a SoleMate was an easy choice, I couldn’t think of a more worthwhile charity to support than Girls on the Run NYC.

Why did you decide to sign up to run the NYC Half Marathon?
To be honest, the photos of the NYC Half Marathon make me jealous every year so I finally decided to commit to the race and run it myself. Running through Times Square could be a bucket list moment.

What does the Girls on the Run mission mean to you?
The mission of Girls on the Run to inspire and build confidence in young girls through running really resonates with me. I myself have experienced the transformative power of running to foster a mind-body connection that never fails to keep me coming back for more no matter how cold the NYC winters get! I think it’s super important to instill a value for health and fitness at a young age and for girls to discover the confidence that can be gained from conquering their goals. 

Tell us a little bit about your running history!
I began running as part of a bet/New Year’s resolution in 8th grade and actually stuck to it! I continued to run track & field throughout high school and ran my first half-marathon 2 years ago. I've run 3 more since and can’t seem to get enough! 

And now, a few fun quick questions, starting with: Favorite post-run snack?
I always seem to visualize coffee during the last few miles of a long run or race. A post-workout iced coffee on sweltering summer days can’t be beat! But oatmeal and sweet potatoes always manage to satisfy the carb craving too. 

Favorite place to run in NYC?
Riverside Park and along the West Side Highway.

Favorite time of day to run?
Early in the morning, sometimes even before the sun comes up. Running under the sunrise is one of the best ways to start the day.

Thanks, Grace! If you'd like to support Grace in her fundraising efforts, you can visit her fundraising page here.